Villa Park Point IS A Good Result

Aston Villa 0 – 0 Arsenal

A hard fought draw last night has come at some cost. The point itself allowed Chelsea to leapfrog into top spot with a two point safety zone, a gap which could be five by the time Arsenal kick-off against Manchester United on Sunday. In itself, that is not the cost. The real problems for Wenger came in the first hour of last night’s match. Thomas Vermaelen has scans today to ascertain the full extent of his injury whilst Eduardo has another hamstring strain to contend with, previous history suggesting his absence may be up to three weeks.

The former meant Sol Campbell came into the fray, Wenger unsure of whether the former England international will replace Vermaelen at the weekend or if someone else will, presumably Mikael Silvestre. The Belgian international left Villa Park on crutches according to his manager but whether his fibula is broken or not will become known today; an anxious wait for Wenger no doubt. The injury to Eduardo is of more immediate concern in that Arsene will have to decide pretty quickly whether or not it is serious enough to warrant a quick dip into the transfer market, perhaps a loan deal rather than permanent signing, with Nicklas Bendtner barely back to match fitness.

As for the match itself, Arsenal will be more disappointed of the two teams to have not won the game. Both would have felt equally aggrieved had they lost. Villa had woeful finishing to thank for ending the 90 minutes goalless – and the hand of Almunia – whilst the visitors were left cursing the woodwork. Stewart Downing had two glorious opportunities to make the evening worse but failed to force Almunia into even making a save. The first a tame effort over the bar came immediately before Campbell entered the fray whilst the second, perhaps the most criminal miss, saw him head wide weakly as Young’s cross evaded all to reach Downing at the far post.

It was a match that neither side dominated entirely; it ebbed and flowed with Arsenal coming closest to breaking the deadlock. That could have been different as early as the fourth minute, Agbonlahor shooting across Almunia, forcing the Spaniard to turn the ball aside. A frequent criticism of the Arsenal goalkeeper is that he cannot win matches with his performances. Last night, he may not have done that but he earned a point with the only save of note he had to make. Will it stop the critics? Doubtful but rather forlornly, there is the hope that it will make them think twice about condemning him so quickly.

Equally, Brad Friedel will be thanking the footballing gods for the intervention of the woodwork. Fabregas waltzed through the Villa penalty area as the interval approached, beating the Villa custodian with his shot only to see it rebound to safety from the base of the post. Rosicky in the second half was equally unlucky. Arshavin broke away from the Villa defence, his shot parried by Friedel, the rebound landing to Fabregas. The Spaniard set Rosicky who thundered his drive against the underside of the crossbar and before he could finish off the job, he and Ramsey got confused, the Czech eventually putting the ball into crowd.

It was a match high on effort but crucially for Arsenal, I think they missed Diaby more than any other player. The midfielder seems to excel in these matches, his workrate disguised by a languid style. He and Song are believed by Wenger to be doubtful for the weekend’s clash with United, Song apparently has a knock (and according to Wenger) looked knackered in Cameroon’s exit from the African Cup of Nations.

The injury to Vermaelen is worrying but until the full extent is known, there is little to be gained in panicking, running around shouting, “We’re all doomed“. The Frasers will have their day next week in any case if Wenger does not sign anyone, irrespective of the squads needs, wants or, if he so believes, the do-not needs or do-not wants.

The point gained is not two lost. Personally, I thought 8 out of 12 points from this run of four games would be enough to keep Arsenal in touch, ready to pounce. Two wins in the home games and a draw at Stamford Bridge will see that come true. It is interesting that Arsenal are being written off in that fixture, rather similar to last season. Let’s hope that the same result ensues.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on January 28, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 292 Comments.

  1. Rooney will tear Sol a new Arsehole.

  2. Point gained indeed.

  3. Shouldn’t have read the post.. lol

  4. great post indeed. I wish all gunners are as optimistic as you are.

  5. We all knew we were short in defence, it was just a matter of time until Gallas or Vermaelen were crocked, so AW signs Sol Campbell… FFS. SIGN A DEFENDER who is at the top of his game… Rooney will tear Campbell apart on Sunday. There are too many competitive games in this league for such a small squad, there is plenty of room for rotation, i don’t see any young wonder kids coming through in that position… The FA Cup game at the weekend was a massive game for us, if he wasn’t bothered about the FA Cup why didn’t he play the kids in the early rounds & rest the seniours for the later rounds, when it REALLY matters…

  6. A point at villa park is a good result.I wonder if you will be saying that after united and chelsea have finished with us…

  7. Plus, Gallas only has a year or if he’s luck two left… he should be playing less, prolonging his career… there’s absolutely no logic in Wengers thinking here… he could sign an experienced centre back, mid 20’s, who has the legs to compete in this league.

  8. That game has to be seen in isolation:

    For any team in the league, a point away at Villa is a good result. Nothing changes here. And the run of games we’ve got has no effect on it either; last night’s result was decent. That’s all you can say.

    Chelsea and ManU still have to play Villa and Everton, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see them drop points as well. Onwards and upwards I say.

    And how long are some fans going to keep abusing our young players before they realise that Wenger’s young charges (the ones he really puts his faith in) always come good.

    But I guess that slamming Denilson is, like, so in right now.

  9. the jam FYI sol was very good last night.

  10. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    Thought Sol was quite good akshully.

  11. 2 points dropped for Villa, Villa were the brighter more up for the game team, if only Downing had his head in the right place…….

  12. sol did well i thought, i wont go into the ones that didnt, i think we all know. Not a good result but certainly not a bad one either. Fingers crossed for tv. A good result (that means a win) on sunday is within our reach. I would like to see us start with more va va voom and play at a high pace as much as poss

  13. Firstlady / Bergkamp Fest – I agree, however, we should resume this conversation in 3 matches time after he’s played against the likes of Torres & Rooney… that is if he makes it through 3 matches… Wenger’ll probably have to rotate him with that useless tosser Silvestre. Hurry back Song!

  14. The Jam – Arsenal have suffered over 50 inuries this season. And its two injured CB’s that has led to the likely inclusion of Campbell. Not just Vamealen.

    As for attack, we have had Theo, Niki and RVP out for around two months. So to be where we are shows our squad is big enough.

    Only Chelsea have a squad we should be envious of, and that squad is very old.

    We have almost as many injuries as goals this year. Statistically we are getting around two a game.

    I think that by the end of Febuary we will have a clearer picture. We will have played some very tough games, and Man U and Chelsea both have some tricky fixtures.


  15. Don’t think Sol will be a problem on Sunday, we’re not talking about a Man U w. Ronaldo anymore storming down the flanks, this is pretty pedestrian stuff from Man U, and Sol can deal with it. The problem here is that it’ll be Silvestre playing, so Gallas can stay on the right side of the pairing, which he prefers.

    I hope Wenger is playing games and Song will be in there. I think Denilson has not done the job, we need Song and Diaby paired up with Fab. If that’s the case I see us bossing Anderson/Giggs/Scholes/Fletcher/Carrick or whatever SAF puts in there against us.

  16. a good point as long as we win the 2 home games and dont lose at the bridge, difficult to see any of it from where I am sitting with no fit strikers to choose from.

  17. It’s definitely one point gained when you can’t put the ball into the back of the net from five yards and plenty of time to pick your spot. I am a little bit puzzled at no mention of Clichy’s performance. I know he came after a long time, but as Martin O’ Neil mentioned, Young did tore him apart. I think more than Rooney Vs Cambell/Gallas, it would be Clichy Vs Nani/Valencia that’s going to decide our fate on Sunday. I’m optimistic though that we’ll pull it through.

  18. There is a big difference between running round shouting ‘ we’re all doomed’ and passing the observation that this season has all the hallmarks of the previous five.
    We go into every season with an inadequate squad, we are only able to compete in a couple of competitions and as always we fail when injuries catch up with us,
    I don’t know why anyone thought this seaspon would be different.

  19. Why hasn’t Wenger bought a striker? Just don’t get it. Now Eduardo is out with injury. Bendtner isn’t a world class striker. We need someone to replace RVP.

    I doubt we will win a trophy this season.

    Same old story again.

  20. Steve, I agree with you.

  21. OOU what did Ferdinand do?i started reading comments halfway so i missed the story

  22. brdguner – my point AW’s main excuse for not signing pro’s at the top of their game is that we’ve got youngsters coming through, and it’ll ruin their chances, Wilshire / Ramsey / Vela / Walcott / Merida & co… so it makes sense in the midfield & up front, however, i don’t see any world beating centre backs coming through our system, and if they are, who / where are they?
    So why sign Campbell & Silvestre? Why not sign somebody like Haangaland? He’d get plenty of games…

  23. There’s no point in discussing anything with SOLGOONER, Peter, or the yak flatulologist. Either insult them or ignore them.

  24. & don’t say we dont have the money, we do…

  25. Denilson was our best player on Sunday, and not far off being the same yesterday, so it’s strange that he is being attacked.

  26. Good point, The Jam.

    The answer is simple. Money. Haangeland would cost bucks and as usual Arsene is tight with money…the club won’t back its ambitions by spending money.

    Campbell and Silvestre are cheap options.

  27. Denilson is a lousy player. Unlike Song and Diaby he has failed to improve his game. His forward play is non-existant and lately he can’t even tackle without giving a stupid foul.

    He gets the odd deflected goal here and there and the fans love him.

    Read between the lines!

  28. The Jam – You see it’s all a smokescreen. Just ask Upson or Senderos what happens to young CB’s at Arsenal.

  29. i find it extremely hard to believe that we don’t have a transfer budget.

  30. It gets boring on here after a perceived bad result. Still, it only ever lasts a couple of days. This time all these moaners will be gone by Sunday afternoon. Of course, it would be nice if they could stick around to share the good times with us, but I suppose they wouldn’t want to lose face.

  31. Steve, it’s a position where wits, experience & positional play goes along way, however, you need the legs to really do the business, and Campbell & Silvestre simply don’t have them, well, maybe for a game or two, but Campbell won’t make it through the rest of the season at 35, i wouldn’t be suprised if he fell on Sunday… then we’re f*cked, Silvestre is fucking useless. Song’ll have to play CB on his return.

  32. we have what we have in sence of sqad, i dont think aw will buy anyone. Im as supportive of all the players in the team but sadly not so optimistic. But who knows. Other teams will drop points, due to injuries we have no choice but to play denilson ramsey sol bentner, they will give it their best shot im sure, will it be enough to win us the title or cl, guess we shall have to wait but im not going to burst a pipe if we dont

  33. Actually Sol Campbell tore Emile Heskey apart yesterday. He actually dealt with him better than Vermaelen! I don’t have a problem having Gallas and Sol playing together.. Let’s just hope Sol can be fit for fight come Sunday!

  34. The battle for midfield:

    Passes 29 good, 15 bad
    Shots 6 (5 blocked, 1 hit the post)
    Free kicks 1 won, 2 given
    Interceptions 2
    Tackles won 3, lost 3
    Won possession 6 (total Fr Kick, Inter, Tackle)
    Lost possession 25 (bad pass, bl shot, shot off target, free kick given, lost tackle)

    Passes 33 good, 5 bad
    Shots 1 (on target)
    Free kicks 6 won, 3 given
    Interceptions 5
    Tackles won 1
    Won possession 12
    Lost possession 8

    Passes 30 good, 5 bad
    Shots 1 (blocked)
    Free kicks 1 won, 2 given
    Interceptions 1
    Tackles won 1
    Won possession 3
    Lost possession 8

    Passes 31 good, 4 bad
    Shots 2 (both off target)
    Free kicks 3 won, 1 given
    Interceptions 4
    Tackles 2 won, 1 lost
    Won possession 9
    Lost possession 8

    Passes 28 good, 10 bad
    Shots 0
    Free kicks 3 won, 2 given
    Interceptions 1
    Tackles 1 won, 2 lost
    Won possession 5
    Lost possession 14

    Passes 26 good, 16 bad
    Shots 2 off target
    Free kicks 3 won
    Interceptions 3
    Tackles 1 won, 1 lost
    Won possession 7
    Lost possession 19

    Passes 12 good, 18 bad !
    Shots 1 off target
    Free kicks 2 won, 5 given !
    Interceptions 2
    Tackles 2 won, 3 lost
    Won possession 6
    Lost possession 27

    (note: Arsenal had 55% of the possession by passing numbers, so AV should have higher won possession figures)

    Conclusions: Denilson is obviously crap.

  35. Its a tough position to find a top player. We done very well to get Tomas. And Johan is a very good CB. I would not mind Johan playing a few games this year. He can also play DM.

    Its as if some fans believe we want to finish third. We are a battling club with a very ambitious manager. We would not be disapointed about not winning a title that is still to be decided were it not for Arsene’s ambition.

    I agree we look thin, but I feel we have suffered a very unfortuante number of injuries.

    I dont believe it is realistic to have 4 top CB, 8 top CM, 5 top Strikers. No one ever has or ever will have as much depth as our injuries this season have dictated we need.

  36. As much as a win would have been great, this result isn’t the end of the world by any means. A loss would have been dissapointing but this game showed that we can defend for a whole game against a decent attacking side. Maybe it would have been different if they weren’t all diving around all game. I’m beginning to dislike Villa & O’neil

  37. We’re all doomed! I’m well and truly crushed by TV’s injury let alone Eddy’s. Another two down.

    The game looking at the bigger picture was not a bad result. Villa have turned over other big teams so there you are.

    All this talk about a new defender is an insult to Sol and his performance last night.

    Next season maybe, but big sol will do for now.

  38. denilson won one tackle ? are you sure, im sure he had a better game than that

  39. I agree about Sol Els, he was awesome last night. Any news on Tommy V?

  40. Can’t see us overtaking Chelsea this season. They look incredibly strong even without Drogba.

  41. That’s a tasty-looking humble pie you’ve baked, jbh. Who’s going to enjoy the first slice?

  42. Move over Almunia. Yesterdays’ draw is all Denilson’s fault. No tackles, no interceptions, no passes complete, no shots on goal. He is shite for being out injured at least thrice this season and not being totally match fit.

    It is getting to the point of being ridiculous, but predictable. A win for Arsenal and there is a triumphalism in the air that is almost sickening in its excessiveness. A draw or a loss and the over-reaction is equally intense but more akin to the vomit of an anorexic. (These miserable waifs that make up a section of the Arsenal support cannot savor the best football team in the country.)

  43. Denilson isn’t a flair player but he’s very fluid & this is a key ingredient in our system… you need to have players like him in the team in order to strike the right balance. i recall everybody moaning about Flamini for years, saying he wasn’t good enough…

  44. Thanks JBH for the stats….we can always depend on you. Of course the anorexics will soon come on board to dispute the facts. So very predictable.

  45. Denilson is poor. Saw him last night giving the ball away so many times and failing to make accurate passes. Then he gives careless fouls away.

    Waste of space. Bring back Song.

  46. Perhaps the flatulologist would like a portion. A steaming piece of humble pie would be just the thing to warm his cockles while he’s pressing his ear to bovine buttocks high in the Himalayas.

  47. weirdos on this site..

    44 Good passes, 15 bad (and 4 attempts created)

  49. i think you’ll find that statistically Denilson is one of the best midfielders in the premiership, last season it was between him & Alonso…

  50. jbh….what source do u use for your stats?

  51. jbh,

    Honestly I don’t know what people watch in fottball games. I’ve had many people text me, and seen many blogs say Denilson was poor.

    And I was watching the game, and in the first half he was completely every where and he hardly put a foot wrong.

    Sometimes it’s surreal.

  52. That’s coz some ppl needs a punching bag. It’s Almunia, Diaby, Denilson Wenger that provides that.

  53. If we come off this season empty handed. Wenger would have no one to blame but himself. They is no way we can sustain the momentum with the current depth of the squared. We tend to lose players every game now. And we have been without a stable striker now for how many months? The square have coped really well for now. But there are starting to get to the limit of their elasticity. We need a good defender and Striker. Some to come in and be a fresh of breath air to the team. Will Wenger buy? I doubt it. He seems to be obsessed at proving a point than what is really best for the team. If things remain like this and no fresh legs is added, then expect a repeat of 2 seasons ago when we almost had it under wraps before the team imploded and had to fight for fought place.

  54. I think the question is are Chelsea going to slip up, the fixture list means that after the next three games we could be 8-10 points behind Chelsea. The most important thing is not losing against Man Utd and Chelsea as these are effectively 6 pointers. Then we can slowly build up again against easier teams.

    Wenger has been unlucky with injuries but his team building means if players like Vela or Walcott fail to take their opportunities not buying more established players looks more foolish.

  55. Denilson is a squad player nothing more all the statistics dont show the type of passes he makes just a few yards and not creating much, the reckless tackles in dangerous areas, if he was really good hed be in the Brazil squad but hes not up to it.

    Any of you who recorded the game play it back and see the expressions on his face after he screws and the dodgy tackles he needs some lessons from SOL.

    Lets pray that Sol plays not Sylvestre whom really is past it.

  56. Lets stop beating around the bush people, Denilson and Bendtner are fucking shit. We desperately need Song and RVP back, we must pick up seven points now from the next three games or them idiots at the bridge will run away with it

  57. The squared??

    Talk of Wenger not doing what’s best for the team? The team consist of the team. I think you mean Wenger not doing what’s best for you sense of glory.

  58. Arsenal were not even in the game for the 1st 45 mins. Young made clichy look like a championship footballer.

    When Edurado plays aganist Dunn and Collison alone then there is bound to be only one winner.
    And Campbell has heskey in his pocket. Denilson is a good central mid fielder. in the circumstance he played ok but he is not the cdm u want aganist the likes of chelsea and manu.

    I thought fabregas,and ashravin played really well yesterday.

  59. Great write up again, Yogi. Agree with all of that!

  60. That should be Yogi’s W. Of course. 🙂

  61. Just to repeat jbh, that was an excellent riposte. First class piece of work.

    The same can’t be said for the usual morning suspects on here. I don’t know where that come from, well apart from a couple, but they only appear first thing. I think they want to be ‘first’.

    That’s them on this site of sourse, not Arsenal in the Premiership.

    They are boring Big Al. There are quite a few bores around these days. Things are going pretty well so what can they find to be miserable about? There must be something!

  62. @ big brovar I partly agree with u. Plus we do have the money to buy players without sinking the club. 10 mio on each position still means that AW still has cash left from what he received from ade and toure sales.

  63. hey realist are you really stupid?

  64. Having commented on Sol’s lack of pace on Sunday, I justed wanted to say that he was excellent last night – although the tackle on dunne made me nervous for Sunday.

    Almunia played well again (apart from a couple of clearances into touch) – and criticism of last night’s performance on other blogs is mystifying.

    I was encouraged by Bendtner’s performance – his height clearly threatened Villa’s defence, even if his hestitation when he should have shot was frustrating

  65. I wonder what happens if next year Wenger puts his hands up and chooses to dissolve this side, buys some big shots and end up out of the Champions league!!

  66. C*ntGunner in your dreams…..

  67. Regardless of the run we are facing, a draw at Villa is a good result.

    The injury to Vermaelen is a definite worry, but that is what Solis here for, and AW gave him a contract based on him being good enough, so it is time for him to prove it.

    Diaby is definately a miss at the moment, he was playing really well prior to his injury.

    I am not going to ‘slate’ Denilson, but i must admit i am not his biggest fan, but to bang on about stat’s doesn’t show the whole picture.

    There wasn’t a stat available last week when he visibly gave up chasing Sidibe, which led to a goal.

  68. Fucking hell – who opened the asylum and let these sad fools roam loose? To criticise our squad when we are fighting for the title with more injuries than any other team could imagine coping with.
    Miserable, craven, surrendering anti support with nothing to back it up coming here to moan about our own players. In public. Shame on you you spineless cretins whining when the going gets tough and you as a supporter should back the team the most.

  69. Arseman: above stats were from Guardian chalkboard of the match.

    Ole: I think Denilson suffers from the “we must have someone to complain about” syndrome. He’s no Fabregas in the final third (who is) and thats not his game. He was brought as the classic Brazilian Volante (def midfielder that keeps it ticking over, plays it simple, runs everywhere and wins possession).
    Also in a team of great offensive talents (fab, AA, rosicky, etc etc) no one really understands the defensive midfield roles.
    I’m a fan of Song, he’s very elegant on the ball, passes it well, is strong in the air and uses his body well. But frankly AW uses Denilson to keep composure in the midfield and Denilson has better postitioning, intercepting, and passing. They complement each other well and should have long and productive Arsenal careers.
    (for last season when Denilson was fit, he had more tackles than any other top 4 team player, more interceptions than anyone in the PL, more passes, more accurate passes, and 4th in the number of times fouled). Same story in the CL – only one player put in more tackles (Mascherano) and one player more passes (Xavi of Barcelona) – not bad for a 21 yr old (these are Makelele type numbers). Re being lightweight, the idiots don’t realise that most Sth Am players go down when fouled, sometimes it doesn’t work, and the ref doesn’t give the foul, but if you are fouled in the midfield its usually the best option to take the free kick.

  70. Arsenal’s biggest problem is the bunch of fickle glory hunting plastic fans that we have. The kind that jump out of the woodwork to scream at anything and everything when a game is not won.

    The kind that are so pathetic that they only survive on negativity and nonsensical unsubstantiated bile.

    How the hell is 4 points gained from a Villa double a bad result.

    If anything, the best part of last night’s game was Arsenal showing they can defend good pressure from a team with good pace and attacking instincts.

    We don’t have a divine right to win any match, and not all games will be a walk in the park. Do people just expect teams playing us to roll over and die?

    I think rather than desperation in getting Wenger to sign new players, there should be a system of flushing ungrateful and impatient plastic fans down the toilet every transfer window.

    Moan, moan, moan, moan, moan.

    Ungrateful freaks.

  71. Denilson prefers to play the ball along the ground, so those who have a fetish for the hoof across field might find him a disappointment. I’m sure he can execute those passes well enough, but he rarely does so. He can also play a defence-splitting pass when given the opportunity. His greatest strength, however, is the one-touch, pinball style of passing, reminiscent of Riquelme. It is his mastery of this style of play that enables him to operate in a congested midfield while hardly ever losing a ball.

  72. Ed. PeopleTake off ur glasses.

    End of the season Arsenal Review

    Ramsay came about leaps and bounds. He is the successor for fabregas in midfield. We also found diaby to be quite handy in physical fixtures provided he is injury free. Vermaleen was superb till the injury ruled him out for the rest of the season. The same could be for Persie.

    Apart from that Sol was immense and we also discovered that while our left backs cant really cross we do have 3 good ones.

    It has been a successful year for us overall. We have a championship place. Our youngsters are the cream of England and Europe and would soon win us the league in 2015.

    The board has been extremely successful. Its management of the debt is sound. Plus they can kid naive and really really optimistic arsenal fans (esp the ones who frequent this site along with the self appointed reporter) that money is scarce and they cant spend any for many many years.

    The target for next year is as ambitious as this years. Play to top the league by end of december and fizzle soon after.

  73. Haha, you tell em Darius!

    Was pleased with NB52 when he came on last night. Had a couple of nice touches and in a few games they could turn into a couple of nice goals. I think we can navigate the next few fixtures reasonably well. We are the ‘underdogs’ which could be a blessing in disguise…

  74. no surprise that Denilson is being blamed for the point gained away..

    He is an exceptional player.. Many think he gets bullied of the ball but he’s actually so smart he forces fouls from the opposition in the way that Xavi does for Barca..

    Many blame him for passing side-ways, he is in fact an almost perfect tactical player, its part of the English limited understanding of Football to think that its like rugby and you must only pass forward, rather than retaining possession and making yourself open and relieving pressure off of others..


    He also is a very good offensive passer but has his priorities right and only uses that aspect when the team is in a dominant position..

    Sadly although Ramsey is improving game by game with the exception of Portsmouth the Arsenal machine has not found its ticking movement in the league when he has started in mid-field..

    The main difference being that a young Cesc and Denilson’s 1st priority has been to pass and move and not take an extra touch which is what can make the difference..

    In this regard you can see why Rosicky has received such a lengthy extension because he was playing this way long before he came to arsenal and is crucial in the development of the youngsters..

  75. Ed. PeopleTake off ur glasses.

    This isn’t a season for fizzling out. We have a new dimension about us this year, even throughout our worst injury crisis ever. We can battle it out with anyone when we have a reasonably strong team out. We’ve just had to play Bolton twice, Stoke and now Villa – hardy an easy run given our style and size. Even if TV is out for most of the season (hopefully not!), we will be up there when the final games are being played.

  76. Ed your post is fizzle-doomed par exellence.

  77. Thanks jbh!

  78. At the start of the second paragraph you wrote: “The former meant Sol Campbell….”
    Shouldn’t this have read: “The former mentalist Sol Campbell…”? 😉

  79. A lot of doom & gloom mongers thought it would be the end of our season when RVP got injured. It’s the same with TV. We have Sol now who i think looks more comfortable at the back then Edu has looked up front…

  80. We’re going to give the Chavs and the Mancs a proper go this season. Come on boys!

  81. And another factor. Petrov was rested last weekend. Fabregas and Denilson played the full 90 minutes at Stoke and against Bolton (assuming he plays Sunday then Fabregas will have played 5 games in 14 days). Also AV were playing at home. This was Denilson’s 3rd game in 7 days, and is only just back from injury. So you really can’t fault the Arsenal midfield for a strong performance.

    If only there had been a little more composure in front of goal last night….

  82. I’d like to say that I thought Bendtner did very well for a guy who hasn’t played for 3 months. His touch was reassuring, and his arial presence an option for the villa defenders who thought they’d snuffed out the arial threat by the Arsenal pygmies.

    The Great Dane wanted his chance in the limelight, and he’s now got it. All I pray is that he doesn’t wear pink boots. If you’re going to wear pink boots ever, just make sure you score the goals so that there’s no come back.

    Nasri was also razor sharp when he came in. I liked the urgency he brought.

    I also enjoyed Sol’s mind games with Agbonlahor and Heskey. Sol used his intelligence to avoid having to run back to chase Villa players, and when he did, he was stellar.

    If anyone could take Richard Dunn out clean, it was either Sol or Gallas.

    On Sunday, I’d like to see the following team as I think they’ll give us the best chance of winning.

    Sagna, Campbell, Gallas, Clichy
    Song, Nasri, Fabregas
    Rosicky, Bendtner, Arshavin

    Can I also point out that last night should have given Traore’s critics a bit of perspective.

    Like Traore, Clichy was left exposed by Arshavin and had to fend for himself. I’ve always maintained that for a 3rd choice left back, Traore did very well and he should be lauded for filling in during the injury spell that hit us with Clichy and Gibbs.

    In fact, if Diaby was available, I would suggest Wenger replace Arshavin with Nasri – for the reason that Nasri tracks back better and supports the left back, but also offers an attacking threat. Arshavin can come on as an impact sub.

  83. jbh – some people seem to forget how bad our injuries have been. No other team (apart from maybe Chelsea) would be able to cope with this and still be challenging for the title.

    Even without injuries, we were completely written off at the start of the season – what a massive accomplishment to be where we are now.

  84. Ed, who is the self appointed reporter cause i think i know what you mean

  85. We are only 2 points off the top (albeit having played a game more than Chelsea) with games against our main rivals to come – one home, one away.

    What would the abuse levels be if we were in Liverpool’s position, or Sperz’?

    I shudder to think.

  86. Alex – word.

  87. YW.

    What’s with the moderation? I hope it’s not because I refused to use profanities against the doomers.

  88. 4 points from 2 games against Villa is a more than acceptable haul.

    Why can’t there be a middle ground on a player?

    I don’t really rate Denilson, I don’t think he is bad player, but he wouldn’t be one of my favourites to start in midfield.

    That doesn’t make me a doomer, and it doesn’t mean i don’t take into account the points that people make about stat’s and so on.

    It also doesn’t make me a ‘plastic’ Arsenal fan, and doesn’t make me support my team any less.

    It certainly doesn’t seem any more absurd than someone who is blindly loyal and claims that all Arsenal players are better than any other players in the world in their position.

  89. The thing is that many fans don’t have a stomach for the fight. First sign of trouble many start cowering and moaning, lokking for scapegoats, spreading undue negativity.

    No time for that. get behind the team!

  90. Match Report: The day premiership was won
    Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1

    The pretenders landed at the bridge with a 5 man midfield and fresh from a win aganist man utd. Led by fabregas they started very very brightly.

    Lampard, terry and cole were caught napping and arsenal did take the early lead.

    However, chelsea players soon unearthed the same same one pass as to be expected. This is not Wolves at the emirates but epl champions chelsea at the bridge. These patters are good for the first 15 mins but fizzle out there after. Arsenal, have found that out again, again and again.

    Tackles and tactics first disrupted and soon over powered Barcelona lite. Drogba scored 1st and then the third.

    Arsenal is a good team and a respectable team. It has good supporters and management. But this is where the story ends. Leave the winning to the man u and the chelsea’s.

  91. it is so nice to see the regulars come on and silence these fools. i’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, ACLF and Arsenal Vision are the only two true bastions of real support and rationality. the intelligence both of YW and Mean Lean, as well as the regular contributors to the message boards put to bed any of the ‘AKB’ taunts thrown around by the miserable bunch of fans that plague this club by assessing things rationally and seeing the bigger picture. to be a fan is to support…yes you can debate certain facts, but it says a lot when i want to throw my monitor across the office in frustration every time i read one of these bloody comments slating wenger and saying buy buy buy. for instance the crap earlier about ‘boo hoo, only buys campbell and silvestre, get a young good centre back boo hoo’…ffs what do you call vermaelen? some pensioner, a player whose been at the club for years? no! he is a good, young centre back, and guess what, wenger bought him! i’m tired of this crap about buying players all the time, because when wenger does (to the benefit of our team, for the right price, at the right time), the bloody doomers use his own judgement as a stick to beat him with saying ‘LOOK AT TOMMY V! LOOK AT ARSHAVIN! YOU FOOL, SEE, BUYING PLAYERS HELPS, YOU NEVER BUY!’…..the lack of any logic or even an attempt at thinking before typing is infuriating. as is the blind refusal to hear any arguments in support of any of the ‘boo boys’….them lot over at the grove constantly harping on about “dont listen to stats” equates to sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes, and loudly shouting “NANANANANA” at the top of your lungs. anyway, thank you to you YW and the wider ACLF community. you restore my faith in the fanbase of this club and i salute you

  92. Piss off Chelsea. Come back at the end of the season. Prick.

  93. @ jabberwocky….i know its infuriating…but it’d help to know that stupidity defies logic.

  94. It,s clear that Rio Ferdinand deliberately struck the Hull player so now we wait for the right punishment from the FA ,but one never knows who.s going to put his two pence worth in and try and influence the panel,the same person who influences the only timekeeper of the game ,enough said ?

  95. The Arsenal midfield as it it,s most potent with Nasri,Cesc ,Rosicky and or Arshavin/Denilson/Diaby
    combining precisely ,any one or two of these players missing and the balance of the team is upset
    it,s clear that Samir Nasri has been the missing link for a few games as we shall see against Trash United ,Chelsea and Luckypool ,bring it on.

  96. Darius

    Dunno mate. Akismet has a mind of its own at times.


  97. Too bad about Vermalen but very good about Campbell. I wonder how long we can expect Campbell to play Premiership football at his age. For certain he is not being requested to play a full season.

    Somebody should look into sustaining the health of this football team with all these injuries. There is some very bad medicine that is going completely unchecked. You people can pray. I am going to have a talk with Raven.

  98. “…the English limited understanding of Football” – steady on, Kitchen Sink.

  99. kick it forward Limpar lets gain some territory..

  100. I understand people’s concerns about Denilson. However, yesterday there was a lack of cover allround for Arsenal and Denilson and Clichy were the ones biggest exposed.

    Especially on the left side, when Song is playing, Denilson covers for the part. Indeed, if Denilson is playing the holding that means that Song isn’t playing; Denilson always has the Cameroonian’s back just in case when they’re together – like Crocket and Tubbs – but the same doesn’t apply when Denilson’s holding.

    Denilson has much class in the simplicity he possesses.

  101. In isolation a point a Villa Park is good. People are shitting their pants because of the run of games we have coming up but that’s what winning the title is all about so bring it on. We have been desperately unfortunate with injuries and i wonder what people think about a slight change of formation to give the full-backs more cover. Not a knee-jerk reaction but its a possibility especially away from home and with the personnel we have been left with. Any thoughts on a 4-5-1 with Bentdner up top?

  102. So…

    Does Ferdinand miss the game against us if found guilty?

  103. Yes Matt.

  104. Red Armeeeeeeee

    I would rest Campbell v Man Utd and play Song at CB to look after Rooney.And have a fit and ready Sol back to face Drogba and Anelka.Its too much of a risk to play him v Man utd we dont want Tweety anywhere near the team v Chelsea

    Chelsea’s game in hand is Hull.3 easy points

  105. The lack of buying a back up CH has now come and bite us on the bum.Sol is ok but does anyone really fancy him starting v the top 2 teams in the league???How the f**k has it come to this.We are one of the top teams in Europe yet we are relying on a 35 year old.

  106. Any new on TV?

  107. 35 is not that old for a centre half….

    Costacurta, Baresi and Maldini weren’t bad were they….

  108. Sorry, KS, I can’t understand.

  109. Matt

    They didnt have a 9 month break from football.

  110. you will one day limpar, I trust in you..

    In football like in life, sometimes you must go backward to find success in going go forward..

  111. in going forward..

  112. Sol has played two games and has been great in all the games, still some fans are not satisfied. Sol even handled Heskey better than TV did. Those who’re against Sol are the same fans who cried when donkey Senderos left; its amazing.

  113. SOL FOR ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!

  114. Truly Racist FC F*CK OFF.

  115. Grat news LAGER!!!!

  116. If Arsene is bold enough to drop Denilson and play Cesc, Song and Nasri against Manu, we can win. No hope if he plays Denilson.

  117. DENILSON FOR BRAZIL!!!!!!!!!


  119. HOWARD FOR SPURS!!!!!


    Nasri looked great – really sharp.

  121. “Ferdinand’s suggestion that contact with Fagan had been accidental however failed to convince the FA’s disciplinary panel.”

  122. Matt,

    This “stats don’t measure everything” argument isn’t doing it for me.

    It’s illogical. Unless Denilson is failing to track a runner 2 times a game and that’s leading to goals, your point about Sunday makes no sense.

  123. OG,

    It is fairly simple.

    Stat’s tell you that passes were completed etc.

    They don’t show you when a player visibly makes no effort to chase down a player attempting a cross.

    And they don’t tell you when a clumsy challenge is made in the box to give away a penalty.

    So, Stat’s don’t always tell the whole story – disagree?

  124. Stat’s tell you that passes were completed etc.

    They don’t show you when a player visibly makes no effort to chase down a player attempting a cross.

    And they don’t tell you when a clumsy challenge is made in the box to give away a penalty.

    So, Stat’s don’t always tell the whole story – disagree?

  125. Drawing a game at Villa Park is not the end of the world. It does make getting a win v MU and at least a draw vs the Chavs and a win v LP absolutely critical. Losing TV could end any realistic chance of winning the championship. I hope not.

    I myself feel some of the concern that other supporters feel regarding transfer dealings. The board and AW have both indicated that there is money available for transfers. We made 30 million profit on the Ade/Kolo/TV transactions this summer. Gallas is out of contract at the end of the year. I continue to have difficulty understanding why we did not get another center back, What are we saving this money for? Money that is available should be used strengthen the squad. Consider how the Cesc, Gallas, Arshavin etc. might feel. They know how thin we have been at CB and they know we have money available. Why not use the money to improve their chance of winning. I know we have debt from stadium but for the fans and the players sake we need to USE THE MONEY WE HAVE AVAILABLE TO GIVE US THE BEST CHANCE TO WIN. We needed another CB last summer and we could really use a striker now. We have money available. It is a paradox that I do not understand. Purchasing a CB and a striker does not guarentee success but it certainly gives us a better chance and that is all that management can do.

  126. Some really stupid comments this morning!

    You draw away to Villa and the sky is falling!

    I commend the boyz, we were the away team and we were the ones trying to win, we did not settle for a draw (we have the wood work to thank for that) and inspite of all of that people are crying, moaning and whining!

    This comment is priceless I think.

    “The lack of buying a back up CH has now come and bite us on the bum” and then Kenny goes on to say Sol Campbell is not good enough?

    Did Villa score?


  127. does anyone remember when someone croosed the ball in, most defenders would think he was going for the near post but campbell read it was a cut-back and intercepted. tv would not have done that i’m sure. they also missed an open goal. haha.

    we are arsenal

  128. Thanks Yogi W. I thought the team started brightly, purposefully and played well last night. We were unlucky. Villa away is not straight forward anything. I enjoyed Rosicky and Cesc personally. Sol simply didn’t put a foot wrong. Gallas was excellent. Dudu looked out of sorts; did he start injured? Clichy is getting his mojo back after the lay-off, but not far off. The crticisms of Denilson are so stupid. It wasn’t his best ever game, but he performed pretty well and won a lot of possession.

    Am I wrong or is it still January, and 15 games (or 40%) of the season still to come? The way some talk, it’s like it’s April & the last 3 matches.

    Bring it on ManU, bring it on.

  129. It’s simple:

    Because Denilson rarely throws himself into a sliding tackle (He does it quite well) many ‘fans’ don’t think he can defend.

    eg: According to Martin Keown (who knows what he’s talking about I think), this is what he found when researching the standard of non-league coaching (I’m paraphrasing).

    Saturday morning kids football:

    “Kick him!”

    “Get it forward!”

    “Get in there!”

    “Get it forward!”

    “Kick him!”

    And that’s just the parents.

    I saw that programme a few months before I found myself on the steps of the Prado gallery in Madrid, watching kids doing keepy uppies on the steps of a national monument in the centre of the city…

    “We don’t play a long ball game!”

  130. can’t wait for algerie vs egypt

  131. Just on the issue of Sol being classified as too old to hack it by some doomers up in here – it may be interesting to note that Wenger has actually won 2 double titles with a defensive 4 who were in their mid to late 30s – and no one said shit at the time.

    Ole Gunner got it in one. We have weak arse fans who can’t stomach a fight when the going gets tough. Useless bunch of plastics.

    We have players who have off games but that doesn’t make them bad players over night.

    I think it’s the fans who need to manage their expectation that they’ll see champagne football every time Arsenal plays.

  132. I’m going to shock you all now.

    Talksport are about to talk about Wenger’s comments and how good Wayne Rooney is.

    I bet not one person could have guessed that.

  133. Jabberwocky makes a lot of sense.

    The infantile negatory comments remind me a lot of my kids – when they were pre-adolescent – playing monopoly and arguing. Buy this, buy that! Yep, the idiot doomers talk ‘monopoly football’ just like that, about as far removed from real football, players and management as …

    oh never mind – COME ON ARSENAL!!

  134. We wouldn’t expect anything less from them Mean Lean.

    The agenda – to kiss the backside of the mancs and slag off Arsenal and Wenger. Durham is a knob.

  135. 4 game ban for Rio. LMAO

  136. Agree, the worse aspect of Arsenal are these miserable, never satisfied, crummy supporters.

    Seriously, this is a game we looked more likely to win in the final analysis and all they do is find fault!!

    I HATE IT!

  137. Just on the Durham nonsense show on Talk Shite – was Wenger actually wrong in what he said?

  138. Tony Gale’ stupid comments on Denilson – “defensively naive”, “innocence of youth”.

    Those comments must have influenced many viewers and given fodder to the Denilson’s bashers

  139. He was absolutely right! they were playing it either long for Agbon to run onto, or long for Heskey to knock down our out into the corners for their wingers to chase… O’Neil really annoys me and is so quick to jump on the defensive. AW was simply pointing out what we had to play against, he wasn’t ‘launching an attack’ or ‘insulting’ Villa.

  140. my comment’s in moderation for some strange reason…

  141. Fantastic news!! Cheers for the heads up oneofus 🙂

  142. Finally, we get a break. Or rather, no break…

  143. Thank you Thank you !!!!! OneOfUs

  144. the biggest test comes now. do we brood over the draw, or get ready for the next game.

    many will think these 4 games make or break the season. they don’t. even if we win all 4, we can throw it all away after that.

    what is important is to keep working.

    sol played like he was never away. he is looking like an inspired buy.

    and wouldn’t it be better to record arsene’s 300th win against man utd on sunday?

  145. you can tell the people who have no football knowledge and who have not played footall at a serious level in the judgements of players.

    how anyone can say denilson is rubbish shows a real lack of understanding. He may not be the most noticeable flashy player but neither was gilberto or makalele.
    he is better than anderson and carrick, lucas, belletti etc. and in a few yrs will be better than lampard n gerrard etc.

  146. Great news on TV, also Song and Eboue available!!

    Very timely news!!


  147. Well said No7.

  148. Why do you people listen to Talkshite or read Le grove? Sure, maybe once every 9 months if you’re stuck in traffic and you’re tired of the other dross on radio, but….

  149. Vermaelen’s leg isn’t fractured!!!!!!

    Fu*king get in!!!

  150. Darius or Yogi, any reason for my post earlier being put into moderation? Nothing lude, vulgar or naughty i promise!

  151. They’ve ordered a replacement leg from the Flanders factory. I just saw the refrigerated trucks leaving the basement of the Emirates, painted up to look like a butchers’ van on Blackstock Road.

    Have to keep our pet cyborg a secret or the Eduardo Foul’ will come to be seen as just a warm up for the real lynching.

  152. Ole, i’ve been wondering the same thing…

  153. And Song and Eboue are back for Sunday. Apparently tired though. Abou and Eduardo should be back for the Chelsea game. Bloody good news regardless.

  154. @By: ZimPaul on January 28, 2010
    at 4:00 pm

    compare our lot to liverpools.

    nearly all liverpool fans i meet defend benitez to the hilt and try and blame his failings on anyone but benitez. signings, losing games, finances, ground etc the owners get the blame for everything.

    our lot was blaming wenger for the bolton game being postponed!!!!!!!

    seriously im fed up of some of these plastics, no perpective, glory for glorys sake Sock-Suckers

  155. Paul N

    Eboue available.Whats great about that?

  156. I didn’t think Vermaelen would have fractured his leg. Those titanium limbs are not broken that easily!

  157. He’s a great squad player kenny, always good to have him around

  158. Eboue’s a skilful, fast, committed and versatile team player. That’s what’s good about it.

  159. Right, If Alex is tired but fit, he should start on Sunday – and, even though I have a feeling Tommy V will recover, let’s just say he won’t quite make it so…

    – – – – – – – Almunia – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Gallas – Campbell – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – -Song- – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – Fabregas – – Denilson – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – Rosicky
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Arshavin- – – – – – – – –

    Or are people thinking Bendtner to start?

  160. TV, Song back,…. relief relief

  161. I think it may start like that Limpar, Bendy to come on in the last 30 mins. That team can beat anyone on their day.

  162. Already forgotten the Stoke game, Kenny? Coquelin’s going to be a great player in the next couple of years, but give me Eboue any day of the week right now. We need all the players we can get for the run in.

  163. Looking forward to having Diaby’s presence back for Chelsea though, no disrespect to Denilson of course, i think he’s great, but Song, Diaby and Cesc in the midfield is the trio for me.

  164. Ghana score.

  165. I think Bendtner will start.

  166. THANK YOU GOD!!!!!

    No break for TV or Rio. Hope Sol is ready for that cheating, diving little piglet come Sunday.

    And to think I had my Deedee nightmare last night!!

  167. I’d quite like Bendy to start, it’ll give Vidic something extra to think about. Not sure if AW will rush him back into it yet. He’s only had one training session so far…

  168. All going according to plan even with injuries. What a squad. Best I have ever seen. Really looking forward to Sunday, especially as the Mancs at home are a more straightforward proposition than Veella away, and Sol’s experience will really count. Good solid result last night. This is our platform for this last half of the season…looking very, very good.


  169. “I think Bendtner will start.”

    Shall I also expect another 2-1 win then?

  170. Is Vidic back from injury??

  171. now bendtner’s back there is actually a point in crossing the ball.

  172. Not sure actually Maria… Hopefully not!

  173. Eduardo is a better header of the ball. Shame his out.

  174. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Wow, the doomers are out in force today. Boring. Le Groan is the place to be for doomers, why don’t you scumbags go congregate over there.

  175. He wasn’t playing yesterday Evans was. So it could be a back four of Evra-Evans-Brown-Da Silva up against you know the best attack in the league……….

  176. Hmmm if that’s the case, I’m even more optimistic of nailing those Mancs. All we need is an injury to Evra and we’re sorted! Oh, haven’t heard any of Evra’s usual pre-match bullshit yet…

  177. In a contest between Bendtner and Evra, we all know who will be the man and who will be the boy – although Bendtner will probably play in the middle.

  178. I fancy Bendtner to start and Nasri to come off the bench. I think Eboue can make an impact too as he gives us that directness when he runs at the heart of the oppositions defence. He also gives us more solidity defensively as well.

  179. Campbell’s huuuge!!

    i mean we all knew that but we had some pretty tall players in the invincibles, u can just see how big he really is standing next to denilson and arshavin. i mean seriously his shirt size must be unavailable to us..haha.

  180. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    BluntGunner is spot on @ 11:41. Some people just can’t help but moan. Alot of them have racist tendencies and only support Wenger through gritted teeth in fear of being outed as a racist. We could do the double and these c*nts would still find something to have a whinge about.

  181. Racist against who?

  182. So the Planet of the Robots man wont be out for long…..good news

  183. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    All I will say is Song, Eboue, and Diaby get treated far differently than Ramsey, Arshavin, and say Wilshere. Maybe racist wasn’t the right word, but you can’t really deny it. It is what it is.

  184. steww, jbh, Darius – @12:15 – 12:16pm

    ’nuff said gentlemen. Thankyou.

    It is amazing though, is it not?

    Lucky Villa…they don’t need their own fans they have this lot.

    Blame, blame, blame…and for a DRAW – they complain…against VILLA – AWAY…they still complain…

    Bunch of weak-hearted tossers with no will to fight. Our team is facing its defining hour and our fans prattle on and on about how we just aren’t good enough…leave that shit to the opposition!

    Never why we can WIN it – ALWAYS a litany of reasons why we’ll lose.

    …And it’s self-centered too.

    If you moaners were TRUE fans, you’d realize that your terminally pessimistic outlook is counter-productive, and for the good of the team it would be best to keep your fear to yourselves. But you don’t…no, your spread your sickness around like an infection – sewing doubt and discord.

    Since you can’t figure a way to big up the team – and raise their level of belief, or ours,) take the sacrifice on personally – Keep your Fear and Pessimism to yourself. That’s something a real fan would do. Suffer your doubt alone…let the rest of us believe.

  185. There is definitely still a slight anti foreign mentality in England displayed by some, and its prevalent in the media too which is hardly surprising. Whether this extends to racism within Arsenal supporters I am not so sure. I think the people who treat the players you mentioned differently are short sighted, fickle fools who are not happy unless they are moaning – which is another popular English past-time. What worries me is how on earth do they think that what the are saying qualifies as support for the team they supposedly love? The fact that it extends into the stadium on matchday’s is beyond belief. I do sometimes wish these people would fuck off and find something else to moan about, or someone else to ‘support’. Oka thats my moan over 🙂

  186. Vermaelen does NOT have a fracture!

    I feel like we have won a trophy!

  187. I agree with Axis – You found some words i didn’t even know that I been looking for, thank-you.

    ‘If you moaners were TRUE fans, you’d realize that your terminally pessimistic outlook is counter-productive, and for the good of the team it would be best to keep your fear to yourselves. But you don’t…no, your spread your sickness around like an infection – sewing doubt and discord.

    Since you can’t figure a way to big up the team – and raise their level of belief, or ours,) take the sacrifice on personally – Keep your Fear and Pessimism to yourself. That’s something a real fan would do. Suffer your doubt alone…let the rest of us believe’.

    Excellent stuff Sir.

  188. I have a reputation for moaning on this site (not entirely undeserved) but I do not understand why people are so unhappy.

    We are challenging seriously for the Prem for only the second time since 2004! No one has a divine right to win anything so to challenge is what you can realistically expect for a club like ours.

    Reading some of the posts since last night made me think that we got tonked by Villa and were languishing in midtable.


  189. A tie is better than a loss. We are still within striking distance. Two points behind Chelsea so now it is time to focus on Man U on Sunday. Three points are a must against the Red Devils. Still all is not lost. Don’t give up the ship. What is the extent of Eduardos injury.

  190. Nasir Jones-Nasri @ 11:41 – You have to be awfully tone-deaf to not detect the xenophobia (polite word for racism) that influences much of the slating of the African and Afro-French players at Arsenal. Of course almost everybody (except Howard/Truly AFC who cannot hide his disdain for foreigners) is now on the Song, Diaby, Eboue bandwagon. But despite clear evidence that these are exceptionally talented youngsters who needed time to become good/great footballers, as recent as last August-September there was relentless criticism directed at them suggesting that Wenger’s indulgence has to do with their national origin. Like most hate-monger the language is very coded e.g. Wenger loves French players etc.

    Some posters play the game where they slate the foreigners and go easy on the British players. Quite frankly that seems to be the root of the criticism of Denilson. As Ole and others emphasize ND had a good, not great game, but bloggers and posters keep saying he is shite. Tony Gale on my TV feed reflected the bias of English commentators who believe he is an easy target because he simply doesn’t thump the ball in Row Z when under pressure but does everything to retain possession. I never heard similar criticism of Ramsey even though he had his challenges. How else do you explain the difference?

  191. No argument shotta. Can’t be denied.

  192. zap,who do you want to win,egypt or algeria?

  193. F*ck Off Howard

  194. Dave, should you put off your caps-lock and maybe use paragraphs there might be a chance that someone might actually read that rant.

  195. While there’s xenophobia in the media for sure (mostly to sell papers to idiots), I don’t think you can attribute all criticism by Arsenal fans of afro-french, african or any other nationality of player – to racism. Can you? I mean these are the same people who were calling for Arsene to recall Patrick Viera in the summer, they regularly salivate over Drogba and Essien – and many idolise Thierry, Wrighty, Rocky – even Viv Anderson(!)

    Arsenal FC’s match day support has long been one of the most racially diverse in England. Of course you’re going to get some racist idiots in a group of people that big (I’ve sat next to a few and they’re usually over-60yrs of age) but at Arsenal they are comparitively few and far between, and it’s something we can be proud of as Arsenal fans.

    The same people that are berating Denilson today were berating Theo on Sunday. I don’t think they’re racist – they’re just miserable.

  196. Shotta-Gunna – My understanding has always been that xenophobia and racism are two different things although both have obvious similarities. What you describe regarding the slating of African and Afro French players IS racism no two ways about it. I have to be honest and say I have never put the two together but the way you have described it I do think you have a point. Having said that Bentdner was unfairly and roundly criticised a season or two ago.

  197. Song was crap yesterday, no physical presence.

  198. French managers working in England who choose not to run their club like a caricature of an asset stripping vulture capitalist are an easy target for our press, owned by a bunch of asset stripping vulture capitalist caricatures. Just my humble opinion.

    (Said those true patriots, Harry, OOO00ozy, Rednose etc…)

    Clearly racism is just one mechanism used to undermine AW.

    Couldn’t find the exact quote from O’Neil last night,

    “He’s (AW) said some dumb things since he’s been over here…”

    There are many examples.

  199. What really cracks me up is how much different the reactions on here would’ve been if Cesc or Rosicky’s shots would’ve gone in. If we had won the game all those doomers would’ve stayed in their dark holes and there would be no Denilson slating, for example. The only reason Denilson is getting bullied by our own f*king fans today is because we didn’t win. Some people somehow think it’s his fault we didn’t win…

  200. In my first season at the Emirates I sat in front of a ‘fan’ who would constantly berate Robin Van Persie much to the amusement of all those around us who thought he was insane as on the whole Robin was having a great season. It got so bad I actually moved seats at the end of the season as I couldn’t stand it any longer.

    Some people follow the media or go with popular opinion, some are undoubtedly racist and let this form their dislike of certain players, some just like to have a moan and some like the bloke I sat near just see things differently.

  201. I agree (wholeheartedly) with AIC.

  202. A fews observation about Denilson – While he is wonderfully gifted technically with a higher than average football IQ, making him a vital member of any midfield trio selected by Wenger, at about 6′ and 180 lbs, he is never going to be another Alendre Song. Winning one-on-one physical battles with big lumbering forwarders and midfielders is never going to be his game. He is going to out-pass, out-tackle and out-intercept his opponents. This year he has added goal-scoring to his repertoire, a vital weapon of the modern midfielder especially in Wenger’s new system.
    The other thing I noticed over the last two games, while he is far from peak fitness and was truly knackered towards the end of 90 minutes, it was obvious he no Usain Bolt. It was almost amusing seeing him in that foot-race with Sidibe – he was truly beaten for pace. Yesterday, when he gave up that bad foul towards the end, he was in another foot race and lost. Once he is fit, we know he will play his socks off but please keep him out of any sprint over 25 yards. LOL!

  203. Wow, the doom mongerers are out in force today. I wonder what they’ll do if we pull of winning the premier league. They sound like they want Arsenal to fail in order to be proven right.

  204. Er, your lead has dropped from eleven to two, possibly five points.

    Well done.

  205. Wikipedia says Denilson is 5’11″but had no info on his weight. I guess it is in the 180 lb plus or minus 10 lbs.

  206. It seems Drogba weighs about 185lbs, so I doubt Denilson weighs 190lbs. In fact, he weighs about 150lbs. Middle age spread causes people to greatly over-estimate the weights of others.

  207. “Is this a chance to become the No1 striker? That is my plan. Is it achievable? Of course. Why am I so confident? It is simple. I am a good player. I’ve always had that belief. People ask me every time we speak ‘Why are you like that?’ and that’s just the way it is. If I didn’t think I could do it, I wouldn’t be standing here telling you I could.”

    I think Bendtner is unfairly slated and I don’t see what is wrong with what he is saying. To play for a top team, you have to be good enough and you have to believe you are good enough. This is what Arsene is trying to drum into his players. He believes they are good enough. He just needs them to believe it too. It would help if more of the supporters believed it and transmitted that to the team. They would be unstoppable if they had that backing. Instead they keep being fed doubt by an overly negative press and element of the support.

    Being a football fan is not about being objective or offering ‘constructive criticism’ or any other bullsh*t of that nature. Your ‘constructive criticism’ on a public forum is actually destructive and just provides succor to the enemy while the hacks in the media jump on and magnify that negativity. Support should be about 100% belief and backing for your team in order to give them that extra lift when it’s needed. After all, fan is short for fanatic and if you don’t know the meaning of fanatic, look it up in a dictionary or since you are on the computer Google it!

  208. If Song is fit then the midfield should be Cesc, Song and Nasri. Denilson will just get destroyed by Carrick and Fletcher and he has no trickery, pace or strength to dominate them. Sad that Arsene plays that crap every game even though not up to scratch.

  209. Carrick and Fletcher! Destroy Denilson! Ahahaha!

  210. Denilson has more trickery and pace in the tip of his Roger Johnson than Fletcher and Carrick have used in their entire (and entirely forgettable) careers.

  211. looks like u came back dave fuckin idiot.

  212. 15.08.09 everton 1 — arsenal 6 diaby,rosicky,JD,nasri,fabianski,walcott,vela

    22.08.09 arsenal 4 — portsmouth 1 rosicky,JD,nasri,fabianski,walcott,vela

    29.08.09 manutd 2 — arsenal 1 fabregas,rosicky,JD,nasri,fabianski,walcott,vela

    12.09.09 mancity 4 — arsenal 2 arshavin,JD,nasri,fabianski,walcott,vela

    19.09.09 arsenal 4 — wigan 0 denilson,almunia,arshavin,JD,nasri,fabianski,walcott,vela

    26.09.09 fulham 0 — arsenal 1 denilson,eduardo,almunia,JD,nasri,fabianski,walcott

    04.10.09 arsenal 6 — blackburn 2 denilson,eduardo,almunia,fabianski,JD,nasri

    17.10.09 arsenal 3 — birmingham 1 denilson,eduardo,fabianski,JD,nasri

    25.10.09 westham 2 — arsenal 2 rosicky,denilson,fabianski,JD

    31.10.09 arsenal 3 — sp*rs 0 arshavin,walcott,denilson,rosicky,fabianski,JD

    07.11.09 wolves 1 — arsenal 4 bendtner,clichy,nasri,denilson,,fabianski,JD

    21.11.09 sunderland 1 — arsenal 0 RVP,gibbs,diaby,clichy,bendtner,nasri,fabianski,JD,rosicky

    29.11.09 arsenal 0 — chelsea 3 RVP,bendtner,diaby,clichy,gibbs,JD,rosicky

    05.12.09 arsenal 2 — stoke 0 eduardo,song,walcott, RVP,bendtner,diaby,clichy,gibbs,JD,rosicky

    13.12.09 liverpool 1 — arsenal 2 RVP,bendtner,diaby,clichy,gibbs,JD,rosicky

    16.12.09 burnley 1 — arsenal 1 traore,denilson,RVP,bendtner,clichy,gibbs,JD,rosicky

  213. i’m half moroccan, half algerian chamakh and u know this, y ask who i’m supporting.

  214. Hello Dave.

  215. I agree with Bendtner’s assessment of himself. I’m looking forward to seeing him play in the big games that are coming up.

  216. i agree with campbell whatever happens against manu we’ll still be in the race.

    who are chelsea playing on saturday?

  217. I am loathe to comment on idiotic posts as its playing into their hands BUT Dave is exactly how i imagined a Chelsea fan to be.

  218. Surely someone that moronic is not a real person but a Spud on a wind up.

  219. DAVE

    Vermaelen may miss that game, but he’s probably disappointed he didn’t get to eat Drogba as revenge. Don’t forget last season, we beat you at your place with the help of the linesman, just like you beat us in previous times through sketchy officiating

  220. someone like William…….

  221. Chelski is said to be a ‘big’ club. Why don’t they have any internet blogs or discussion boards of their own?

  222. They have, notlager, but they were very unpopular. It turned out their supporters couldn’t read and write. They therefore set up some remedial schools in an effort to create supporters who could particpate in the blogs and discussion boards. Dave is the first rotten fruit of those schools.

  223. DAVE is all too real, I’m afraid. The face of chavdom.

    According to Orwell, the future is DAVE stamping his foot on human faces, forever.

    Well, not if we have anything to do with it.

    Actually 1984 can tell us a lot about the Premiership and how it is run by the FA and reported in the media.

    Couldn’t this be DAVE or any one of the simple twats who post like him?

    “We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

  224. Poliziano, thanks for the information. Now I understand.

  225. consolsbob – very apt. Thanks.

  226. Whats the news on verminator?? will he be back??

  227. Poliziano.

    For a minute there I thought you were describe the Chelsea Youth academy.

  228. Dave,

    You’ll be crying on May day when Arsenal win the league away to Blackburn.

    Your tears will be magnified when Abramovich decides it’s more fun owning a country and goes off to buy Tonga.

    Whatever happens, enjoy your time in the bragging stakes, you’ll soon be back to being the 4th biggest club in London

  229. A bit backward that Darius.

  230. For some reason “Da Drog” and “General Anelka” made me laugh. General Anelka doesn’t seem very specific though…

  231. Arsenal needs the criticism, i want to believe it’s on this that the squad thrives but they seem to be losing their objective the moment they got to the top temporarily. In the last two games no consistent passing, villa dominated the game from beginning to the end and denilson should learn to impose himself in games not just being the silent worker, may be swapping eduardo and arshavin as the latter is more sturdy and off the ball runs are good………………. this should be seen as two points lost, but all hope is not lost there are still games left……… only time will tell

  232. oh shit ffs.

    algerie 0-2 egypt

  233. oh sh*t ffs.

    algerie 0-2 egypt

  234. Your avatar, I mean.

  235. vp11 – I hereby sentence you to read the comments from beginning to the end. 100 times.

  236. Consolsbob, I totally agree with you. The FA and the whole media circus surrounding the PL act like a kind of Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Just take a look at yesterday’s ‘appalling insult’. The media were twisting and misquoting Arsene’s words on the brink of lying just to get an reaction out of a distressed O’Neil.

    Sky justice determines what is wrong and what is right. But sadly they are just doing what their customers asked them for.

  237. Consols. I thought you meant that. Is it that backward? LOL!

    Unfortunately, I don’t do conventional – and I also don’t believe the Americans went to the moon.

  238. 2-0 down 2 men down.

  239. humiliating.

    egypt 3-0 algerie

  240. we’ve had 3 men sent off now.

  241. Algeria really indisciplined. Disgraceful.

  242. 3 red cards in a semi-final game!

  243. 4.fucking.nil

    im embarrasd and humiliated

  244. Algeria just lost their heads Zap. The goalkeeper was lucky to stay on the pitch as long as he did because the referee could have sent him off in the first half after his reaction to the penalty. It’s a shame really because it ended up being so one-sided it was not much of a contest.

  245. Wow 4-0 what happened Zap? And 8 players on the field?

  246. hey g4e.

    stupid red cards, they should learn if they didnt make those stupid fouls we would have a bit of pride but no. 4-0. embarrasing.

    where was the fight we had in the qualifiers.

  247. Zap -that was a very disapointing game. I thought the ref killed this game it all started with the first booking of an Algerian player who clearly didn’t foul the keeper but also Algeria should’ve kept their cool and the goalie didn’t handle himself well after the penalty. I wanted Algeria to win but It was just silly in the end.

  248. hi 1loose cannon. the goalkeeper shudve been sent off anyway in the 1st half.

  249. anything other than a win vs manu will actually make me depressed.

  250. @ Passenal

    No one else has said it, so I will – hear, bloody hear! Fans support – that’s the beginning and end of the job description.

  251. It’s ok Zap, at least they’re in the World Cup 🙂

  252. Zap- Yes he was a bit stupid to head butt the ref having said that the first Algerian player shouldn’t have been sent off, one yellow was very, very soft and the penalty should have been retaken , that led to the Algerian players losing they heads but in the end they only have themselves to blame. To win a game you have to keep your cool even if the decisions are unfair.
    cheer up! Arsenal will smash the Mancs on Sunday

  253. haha. thanks guys.

  254. Come on Arsenal. Do it for Zap!

  255. Zap you donut

  256. Algerian dogs get what they deserve in the end.

  257. Bilesh you is a retard


  259. Well done Egypt. They play the Arsenal way, shame there not at the WC.

  260. All AKBs are mugs.We are gonna win nothing with that wanker Wenger at our helm.

  261. 28.01.2010
    Arshavin post- match interview

    EPL. Birmingham. Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal

    A draw. Disappointing …. Moreover, other Birmingham team failed to beat Chelsea. Zhirkov’s club won 3-0, he went out on the pitch in the 81st minute of match. This victory brought “aristocrats” to the top of the table .The gap between rivals is getting wider. 0-0. Well, it could have been better, but today, Arsene Wenger and his team will return to London with only one point …. Catastrophe? We will ask Andrey Arshavin, who spent the whole game on the pitch again…. Andrey, you are upset ..

    AA: Like the entire team. We came to
    Birmingham for the victory … I liked the mood and the spirit of the game, but I’m not satisfied with the result. As expected, Aston Villa was fighting. This is a strong team that knows how to play long passes, group attacks, and how to use their techniques. And today they showed it… On the one hand, the fans didn’t see the goals, but on the other hand, I guess, they surely liked the fierceness of the game and determination not to give in during the whole match?

    AA: I think that today the viewers saw difficult football, the teams parted with a fighting draw. I can not recall gunners leaving the pitch with the score 0:0.

    AA: It means that our defense had a good match. They didn’t allow our rival to create 100 percent moments at our gate. The game became more intense at the rival’s gate only when Arshavin and Fabregas created something together. The other players were somehow lost today!

    AA: I don’t think that only Cesc and I brought intensity into the game. On the other hand, we are those players who should lead the game… Arsenal managed to outplay AV in the first London game. Today is a draw. What prevented you from winning this time?

    AA: In that game well-rested Cesc broke into the game and decided its outcome…. I recall that game: in the first half we played without the ball, so very little came out. Although, at the very end of the first half of the game, we had an opportunity but we didn’t manage to handle the ball right. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to score in the first half after that moment.
    I think that in the second half we got used to the rival, to the game, to the pitch. At times, we conducted decent combinations, but were unable to complete them with the accurate strikes. Perhaps, we were in a hurry, or just made wrong decisions in the final stages of the attacks. Actually, we needed only one goal for the victory. Is it a lack of rest? May be the tiredness affects team’s actions?

    AA: Not really. I think that we are in a good physical shape right now. Today’s injuries didn’t allow Thomas Vermaelen and Eduardo to continue the match.
    AA: I hope that they will be OK by the next match with Manchester United. The distance from Chelsea has increased …

    AA: Of course, it’s not good. But, let’s talk about it after February 10. Today is January 27.

    AA: A day of the Leningrad blockade lifting – a great Day. 900 days of sufferings that my countrymen and my family endured. My grandmother Zoya Ivanovna is celebrating this day too. We should be grateful to all these people who defended our Hero City of Leningrad. Thank you!

  262. Jaguar- Belt up you GIT

  263. We are going to win nothing with fans like Jaquar at the helm.

  264. Having read all the comments I can honestly say that some posters are real idiots. All they want is to brag to their ‘mates’ about cups.

    It took ole purple nose years to build from youth. Since then he’s always paid millions for players.

    This season the league is open to any team who has a good run of games in Feb, Mar, Apr. Any team in the top 3 can do that. As an Arsenal fan I think we can do it with players coming back from injury.

    If RVP can come back in April what a boost that could be for the last few games.

  265. That’s because football is all about what trophy’s you can win,Do you think when cesc leaves he will talk about the lovely football he played at arsenal or do you think he would rather have a few winners medals to look at after his football life is done..

  266. We are talking about fans not players. Of course Cesc wants to win but we as fans need to support Cesc in that endeavour.

  267. Should have said:

    We as fans need to support all our players in that endeavour.

  268. football is not about trophy.only glory hunter think this.
    When i m going to the stadium with mates ,i m going to watch my team giving his best to win and have great time meet new people from a different background.Watching football is like a drug with high and low.
    As for the players true ,if you want to keep your best player happy ,trophy can be positive.As for cesc ,spit yo game ,when he leave he will be talking how arsenal giving his big break to play regularly at the highest level,how wenger make him the player he is today.i m sure he will hoping that before he leave ,he left us with few title .

  269. Very excited about Man U. I think they’re going to come out flat after the emotion of the Man City game, and we’ll jump all over them in the first 20 minutes. Projected line-ups with matchup prediction.

    Almunia vs VDS (edge Man U)
    Sagna vs Rafael/GN (edge Arsenal)
    Clichy vs Evra (edge Man U)
    Gallas/Campbell vs Evans/Vidic (even)
    Cesc/Song vs Carrick/Fletcher (edge Arsenal)
    Rosicky/Nasri vs Valencia/Giggs (edge Arsenal)
    Arshavin/Bendtner vs Rooney/Berbatov (even)

    Arsenal 3 up, Man U 2 up and 2 even.

    2-1 reverse for Arsenal (Nasri, Arshavin to score for Arsenal and Valencia for Man U)

    More important, if we can walk away from the next 3 games within 5 points of Chelsea, then I think we can catch them down the easier home stretch. Looks like our options are increasing at last.

  270. Evra is NOT better than Clichy. Agree with the rest though.

  271. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    Arshavin/Bendtner vs Rooney/Berbatov (even)???

    Not sure about that one. Hope you’re right!

  272. Lord Gunner – fantastic post.

  273. new thread, but Maria…I would rather have Clichy in my team than Evra (largely because he’s not a king-sized ass like Evra), but on current form Evra edges it.

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